Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites are a big part of our lives. We use these sites to keep in touch with family and friends. We use these sites to share our lives. We invite people to our life events via social media. We share every event that our children are involved in with pictures, videos, and messages. In fact, we have grown so accustomed to social media that we carelessly share information that often comes back to hurt us.

Insurance companies will stop at nothing to keep from paying your car accident claims. They are notorious for trying to reduce the claims and if they can get away with it, denying them all together. Insurance companies make their money by collecting premiums and managing risks. We are required to carry insurance and it is expensive. Most of us are very careful to protect our insurance companies. We want the lowest rates possible and we want the security of knowing that we are protected if we ever need to make a claim. The numbers are in their favor. They collect much more money than they pay out. If we dare to file a claim, they begin to use the tools at hand to discredit us and the validity of our claim. Social media is a primary tool in this battle. Worse, we are the ones giving them the tools to use against us.

Privacy?

No matter how tight your security settings are, they will get through. Insurance companies sometimes hire people to “friend” you. People will accept a friend request and ask questions later. By then it is too late. In some cases, insurance companies have asked for (and gotten) court orders to access people’s social media accounts, stating that it is not private if the person put the information on the internet.

What can they use against you?

Have you ever made a post about getting drunk, using drugs, wanting drugs (“this is a Xanax kind of day”) or going out? Have you posted a video of you enjoying the day, the lake, the woods, or the club with your friends? Insurance companies will use these posts, photos, and videos as proof that you are not experiencing “pain and suffering.” They will try to discredit your statements about life-changing events by showing you as happy and active. They will use your own words to try to make you look immoral and dishonest.

What can you do?

If you suspect that your insurance company has accessed your social media data, do not try to handle it on your own. Do not rush in and delete everything that you think is damaging. This makes you look guilty and as if you are trying to hide something. Contact an attorney. There are avenues to take that will protect you from this type of action. Let your attorney know exactly what is happening. Do not go into a rant online, and do not continue as usual. Limit your social media usage and allow your attorney to fight the insurance company for you.